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First steps

Introduction

Get started with the micro:bit in a few easy steps

Learn how to get the micro:bit working, program its features and create your first projects.

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world.

What you need to get started

  • A micro:bit and battery pack with 2 AAA batteries
  • A computer, phone or tablet with internet access to load the Microsoft MakeCode or Python code editors
  • If you're using a computer, a USB lead to connect your micro:bit
  • For building and making projects with your micro:bit, some extra items that are great to have include headphones, crocodile clip leads and conductive materials such as aluminium foil and paper clips.

How computers work

The micro:bit helps you understand how computers work. When you type on your laptop or touch the screen on your phone, you’re using an input device. Inputs allow computers to sense things happening in the real world, so they can act on this and make something happen, usually on an output like a screen or headphones.

In between the input and the output, there is the processor. This takes information from inputs like buttons, and makes something happen on outputs, like playing a song in your headphones.

These videos explain how the micro:bit’s inputs, outputs and processor work just like the ones on your phone or computer: